English Debating Society
Debating and public speaking are essential life skills that empower individuals to express themselves effectively, think critically and succeed in various personal and professional endeavours. As the English Debating Society of St. Bridget’s Convent, we seek to enhance confidence, knowledge and eloquence within our young Bridgetines while focusing on identifying and harnessing talent in English Debating and speech within the student body.
Committee for the year 2023/2024
1st row seated: Left to Right
Vihara Fernandopulle (Captain), Mrs. Kumari Abeysundere (Teacher-in-Charge), Mrs. Yvonne Hettige (Deputy Principal), Rev. Sr. Sujani Fernando (Principal), Mauli Kularatne (Vice Captain), Emma Premaratne (Senior Coach)
1st row standing: Left to Right
Ayanna Thomas, Tharuli Rupasinghe, Yesandi Phillips, Rhea Fernando, Tharuka Soyza, Samarah Ishraq,
Absent: Navidi Perera, Ishara Wickremenayake, Zainab Mihlar, Sachithya Ranawake, Nethma Madawala
Recent Keystone Events
Henley Debating Championships 2023
The Henley Debating Championships 2023 was an all-island debating tournament held for the second time under the endorsement of the Debater’s Council of Sri Lanka. It was organised from the 5th to the 7th of August 2023 by the English Debating Society, within the collegiate school premises, including the school auditorium.
The tournament consisted of 25 – 30 teams from schools around the island, which totalled to an approximation of over a hundred participants, not forgetting the 50-60 adjudicators who also dedicated their weekend, to judge at this tournament. At this tournament, Bishop’s College emerged as Champions, taking home the coveted shield, while Elizabeth Moir School was placed as Runners-up.
Inter-House Debate competitions
In the continuous scout for new talent, the club has taken many initiatives to organise Inter-House Debating tournaments throughout its years. While creating an air of intense competition and drive, we provide the young students of the four houses the opportunity to engage in thought provoking debates, covering a wide range of topics from science to politics and ethics to culture. The competition serves as a talent identifier by showcasing students who excel in debating, potentially leading to opportunities for further growth and recognition.
In the years from 2015 to 2018, Coudert House has successfully clinched the title of champions for all 4 years in a row at the Inter-House Debating Tournament.
Membership Drive for the Senior and Junior Pools
The senior debaters, with their experience and knowledge, conduct the Membership drive every year in order to ensure the growth of a new generation of debaters to continue the legacy of Bridgetine Debating. All students from grade 9 to 12 who are interested in joining the club, are interviewed by senior debaters and those chosen from interviews are then designated to the Senior Pool, provided they make the cut.
In 2023, the novel concept of Junior Pool was introduced for younger students. Meetings are held every Tuesday for any and every student intent on improving their skills of public speaking, critical thinking and comprehension.
With unwavering dedication and hard work, Our Debaters have succeeded in garnering numerous accolades and distinctions, elevating not only the reputation of the club but also the prestige of our school. From impressive tournament victories to our very own Bridgetines being chosen out of hundreds, into the Sri Lankan National Pool of Debaters, our club has been a crucible for talent and achievement.
Team Achievements of the English Debate Club of St. Bridget’s Convent
- Reigning champions of “E-Debater 2021” and securing the place as one of the Finalists teams at the W. Keble memorial Challenge Trophy Debate Competition 2021
- Samuel Langdon Memorial Challenge Trophy Debate Competition 2022 organised by Girl’s High School, Kandy.
St. Bridget’s Convent Team “A” consisting of Mauli Kularatne, Navidi Perera, Lara Jayasiri and Ishara Wickremanayake displayed remarkable teamwork and rhetorical finesse as one of the Semi Finalists Teams.
Lilian Nixon Memorial Challenge Trophy Debate Competition 2023 organised by Ladies College.
The Team consisting of Mauli Kularatne, Vihara Fernandopulle, Ishara Wickremenayake and Sachithya Ranawake succeeded in Becoming Quarter-Finalists after a stellar performance in the preliminary rounds
Vijitha Weerasinghe Memorial Challenge Trophy Debate Competition organised by Royal College
St. Bridget’s Convent Team “B” consisting of Tharuli Rupasinghe, Tharuka Soyza, Zainab Mihlar and Risini Fernando claimed the title of Novice- First Runners Up after a remarkable debate against Gateway College Dehiwala “A”.
Shanthi Peiris Memorial Challenge Trophy Debate Competition 2023 organised by Methodist College
The Team consisting of Mauli Kularatne, Rhea Fernando, Ishara Wickremenayake and Tharuka Soyza advanced as one of the Quarter Finalists Teams.
- “Let’s Go Green” Inter School Debating Tournament organised by the European Union of Sri Lanka and Maldives 2023
St. Bridget’s Convent Team “A” was ranked 6th among more than 30 schools and was able to secure a place among the Quarter Finalists teams. The team consisted of Mauli Kularatne, Vihara Fernandopulle and Nethma Madawala.
Individual Achievements of the English Debate Club of St. Bridget’s Convent
Our Bridgetine Debaters have secured a place among debaters from all over the nation with their display of exceptional oratory skills. Among many achievements, the following are significant;
- Shruthika Prathapan was ranked 11th in the Sri Lanka Schools Debating championships organised by the Faculty of Law of The Colombo university. She was then selected as one of the 15 debaters out of more than 120, to enter the National Pool of Debaters 2022 in Sri Lanka.
her remarkable growth in tournaments, ranking almost always within the top 20, in all tournaments in 2023, Mauli Kularatne was too selected as
one of the youngest debaters in the country, to enter the National Pool of Debaters 2023.
- Vihara Fernandopulle was ranked 12th at the Lilian Nixon Memorial Challenge Trophy Debate Competition 2022 organised by Ladies College for debaters from all over the island.
- Mauli Kularatne was also ranked 5th at the Lilian Nixon Memorial Challenge Trophy Debate Competition 2023 organised by Ladies College from among 120 debaters.
- Mauli Kularatne secured a place among the Top 10 Best speakers at the “Let’s Go Green” Inter School Debating Tournament too, organised by the European Union of Sri Lanka and Maldives 2023, elevating the Bridgetine legacy on the International stage.